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Intussusception

Most commonly intussusceptions are associated with some problem that causes inflammation of the intestine (enteritis). Common causes of enteritis are intestinal parasites (hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms), protozoal, bacterial or viral infections (Giardia, Salmonella, canine distemper, and parvovirus), intestinal foreign bodies (bones, plastic toys, etc.), abrupt dietary changes, intestinal masses (tumors) and any surgical procedure performed on the intestine. Increased motility in a segment of intestine (hypermotility) which is adjacent to a segment that has lack of motility (ileus) can cause the hypermotile segment to telescope into the segment with ileus, resulting in an intussusception.

Here is anllustration of an intussusception showing the invaginated intussusceptum (blue) and the invaginating intussuscipiens (red) . (A) demonstrates a direct or normograde intussusception occurring in the direction of normal peristalsis. (B) demonstrates an indirect or retrograde intussusception occurring against the normal direction of peristalsis.

Most commonly intussusceptions are associated with some problem that causes inflammation of the intestine (enteritis). Common causes of enteritis are intestinal parasites (hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms), protozoal, bacterial or viral infections (Giardia, Salmonella, canine distemper, and parvovirus), intestinal foreign bodies (bones, plastic toys, etc.), abrupt dietary changes, intestinal masses (tumors) and any surgical procedure performed on the intestine. Increased motility in a segment of intestine (hypermotility) which is adjacent to a segment that has lack of motility (ileus) can cause the hypermotile segment to telescope into the segment with ileus, resulting in an intussusception.

Intussusceptions occur mostly in dogs and rarely in cats. The German shepherd dog may have a higher incidence of intussusception than other breeds. More commonly, intussusception occurs in young dogs, (less than a year of age) possibly because of the higher incidence of parasite problems and viral enteritis (distemper and parvovirus)

Dogs that develop intussusceptions have generally been having episodes of diarrhea or vomiting before the intussusception occurs. Small volumes of bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, or a palpable abdominal mass are suggestive of an intussusception. The severity of the clinical signs depends somewhat on the location of the intussusception, with problems lower in the intestinal tract causing less severe clinical signs. Intussusceptions can be chronic or intermittent, meaning that they will reduce themselves spontaneously and then reform.

barium series which requires multiple X-rays, more time, and creates a problem of liquid barium at the surgery site if a section of bowel has to be removed to repair the problem.

 

From the American College of Veterianry Surgeons:
http://www.acvs.org/AnimalOwners/HealthConditions/SmallAnimalTopics/Intussusception/

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